Sashimi bocho

Tako hiki, yanagi ba, and fugu hiki are long thin knives used in the Japanese kitchen, belonging to the group of Sashimi bocho to prepare sashimi, sliced raw fish and seafood. Similar to the nakiri bocho, the style differs slightly between Tokyo and Osaka. In Osaka, the yanagi ba has a pointed end, whereas in Tokyo the tako hiki has a rectangular end. The tako hiki is usually used to prepare octopus. A fugu hiki is similar to the yanagi ba, except that the blade is thinner. As the name indicates, the fugu hiki is traditionally used to slice very thin fugu sashimi. The length of the knife is suitable to fillet medium sized fish. For very large fish such as tuna, longer specialized knives exist, for example the almost two-meter long oroshi hocho, or the slightly shorter hancho hocho. Tako hiki (?, literally, octopus-puller), yanagi ba (, literally, willow blade), and fugu hiki (, literally, pufferfish-puller) are long thin knives used in the Japanese kitchen, belonging to the group of Sashimi bocho (Japanese: Sashimi [raw fish] bocho [knife]) to prepare sashimi, sliced raw fish and seafood. Similar to the nakiri bocho, the style differs slightly between Tokyo and Osaka. In Osaka, the yanagi ba has a pointed end, whereas in Tokyo the tako hiki has a rectangular end. The tako hiki is usually used to prepare octopus. A fugu hiki is similar to the yanagi ba, except that the blade is thinner and more flexible. As the name indicates, the fugu hiki is traditionally used to slice very thin fugu sashimi. The length of the knife is suitable to fillet medium sized fish. For very large fish such as American tuna longer specialized knives exist, for example the almost two-meter long oroshi hocho, or the slightly shorter hancho hocho. Yanagi-ba-bocho (, lit. willow blade knife), Yanagi-ba or shortly Yanagi is a long and very thin knife used in the Japanese kitchen, belonging to the group of Sashimi hocho (Japanese: , S shimi [raw fish] hocho [knife]) to prepare sashimi, sushi, sliced raw fish and seafood. In preparing sashimi and sushi, there are very important conditions that the sliced cross section be smooth, shiny and sharp in a microscopic view. Those conditions cannot be met by other usual knives. Yanabi-ba-bocho is especially designed to satisfy the conditions. Important design points for it are as follows. Length: It has a long blade to cut a fish block only in one direction (pulling). Zigzag cutting creates a bad cross section. Thickness: It has a very thin blade to allow cutting using very little force. Using greater force would result in tearing or smashing instead of cutting. Unstickiness: The back faces of some Japanese knives are scooped out to easily detach the sliced piece from the blade after cutting. Hardness and toughness: Consistency in durability and sharpness is created in the same way as a Japanese sword. The blade is formed from a combination of two different steels, a harder outer jacket of steel wrapped around a inner core of softer steel. Single ground: A yanagi-ba blade is angled only from one side, with the other side of the blade being flat. This allows control in the blade angle for delicate cutting and allows for ease of sharpening. The figures in this article are for right-handed version in which the blade is ground only on the right side (front face). Left handed versions exist, but are relatively scarce and expensive. Cutting direction: While almost all western knives are used to push and cut, almost all Japanese knives are used pull and cut instead. The first two characteristics are particularly for yanagi-ba-bocho, and its name 'yanagi' is from long and pliant characteristics of a willow branch. The other characteristics are shared by all knives in Japanese cuisine. The important principle in using a yanagi-ba to prepare sashimi is not cutting down but pulling with its long blade in a single motion.